chapter  17
14 Pages

Resilience and justice 1

BySusan Fainstein

This chapter examines how resilience is currently being defined, discusses the way in which it obscures power relations, notes the strengths of a Marxist framework, and critiques progressive attempts to circumvent power hierarchies through calls for participation. Participation led ultimately to a resolution whereby the city would be rebuilt pretty much as it was for those with resources, while many of those lacking in financial and social capital were unable to return or rebuild - although they were not prohibited from doing so. The chapter argues that in current usage, resilience derives from an idealist formulation of social processes that leads planners to propose responses to crisis divorced from reality. It also argues that neither Marxism nor the conventionally acceptable approach of evolutionary resilience provides a guide to practice. The chapter also discusses two principal theoretical questions: (1) the political question of power, and (2) the epistemological question of describing complex systems.